SVSU STEM Center hosts Girl Scouts badge fest

Girl Scouts from several different local troops gathered at SVSU on Nov. 12 to learn about the science of automotive engineering firsthand. Courtesy Photo | Mackenzie Johnson

On Nov. 12, Saginaw Valley State University hosted the Girl Scouts to partake in an Automotive Engineering badge fest.

SVSU’s Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM) Center hosted the Scouts in an effort to “[prepare] students for the STEM workforce,” Adrianne Cole, the director of STEM at SVSU, said.

Cole helped create this program to encourage school aged children to learn about STEM and pursue possible career opportunities in the field.

The Scouts ranged from kindergarten through fifth grade and included members from the Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Scout Troops.

During the event, Scouts had the opportunity to move through stations to design and sketch their own vehicles, explore simple machines, build, and test their own prototype vehicles, manufacture their own set of vehicles and learn about the history of automotive engineering. These stations helped facilitate what the Scouts needed to learn and understand in order to earn three different badges.

Girl Scouts test out the prototype vehicles they built during the event. Courtesy Photo | Mackenzie Johnson

Faculty and students from SVSU facilitated the stations. Rajani Muraleedharan, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Peg Jones, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, were joined by Chief Science Officers from high schools in the surrounding area.

This event was made possible through a partnership with SVSU, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, the Great Lakes Bay Manufacturing Association and Nexteer Automotive. Hemlock Semiconductor and the American Foundry Society also helped sponser the event.

“Programs like the Girl Scout Automotive Engineering Design Badge Fest help introduce students to STEM at an early age,” Cole said. “They can see themselves as future engineers through their interactions with amazing SVSU faculty, students, and STEM professionals.”

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